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Oxygène

Jean-Michel Jarre

1976

Oxygène
Album Summary

Oxygène (French pronunciation: ​[ɔksiˈʒɛn], English: Oxygen) is the third studio album by French electronic musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre and his first album not intended for use as a soundtrack. Oxygène consists of six tracks, numbered simply "Oxygène (Part I)" to "(Part VI)". It was first released in France in December 1976, on the Disques Dreyfus record label licensed to Polydor, with an international release following in the middle of 1977. The album reached number one on the French charts, number two on the UK charts and number 78 in the US charts. Jarre recorded the album in a makeshift home recording studio using a variety of analogue synthesizers and one digital synthesizer, as well as other electronic instruments and effects. It became a bestseller and was Jarre's first album to achieve mainstream success. It was highly influential in the development of electronic music from that point onward and has been described as the album that "led the synthesizer revolution of the Seventies" and "an infectious combination of bouncy, bubbling analog sequences and memorable hook lines".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.09

Votes

10428
Genres
Electronica

Reviews

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Fri Oct 16 2020
5

Can go toe to toe with anything Ambient that Brian Eno ever did. incredibly powerful mood.

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Mon May 10 2021
1

When I saw that all songs were called Oxygène, I knew it would be shit...

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Sat Jul 30 2022
5

In The Meaning of Liff, a book by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, the authors take placenames from around the world and redefine them as words for things and events that don't have a word, but should. For instance, Shoeburyness, formerly an English village, gained the meaning "the vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat that is still warm from somebody else's bottom." Chicago now also refers to "the foul-smelling wind which precedes an underground railway train." The relevant one for today is Zeerust, a South African town and "the particular kind of datedness which afflicts things that were originally designed to look futuristic." Take the original Star Trek, where communicators only performed one task (unlike your phone), and a female uniform ended an inch below the knicker. Jean -Michel Jarre's Oxygène embodies the zeerust of 70s synth pioneer records, but this is not to its detriment. The public perception of Jean-Michel Jarre has always struck me as dissonant, but that could be the Anglo-American perception. Everyone aged 35 or over knows exactly who he is, but they would only be able to name one song (Oxygène Part 4, obviously). Owning this album would make you seem buffy, and any other album smacks of obsession. Yet he holds the world record for the most attended concert, a 1997 Moscow concert celebrating the 350th anniversary of the city, where over 3,500,000 attended: that's more than the populations of Estonia and Latvia combined. Three other concerts of his have previously held that record. So does Europe adore Jean-Michel Jarre? Dunno: I asked a Francophone friend, and he told me that whilst he has some kudos in France as a trailblazer, nobody would be able to tell you a track of his from the 80s or 90s. Anyway, back to the zeerust of Oxygène. The European synth pioneers who have attracted by far the most acclaim are the Germans: Kraftwerk, Neu!, Tangerine Dream, those chaps. The French, whilst not seen as inadequate in the field, have never attained anything like the veneration their synthy krautrock rivals command. But these synth pioneers, regardless of origin, all now sound affectionately quaint. By pursuing the future in their present, they would become anchored to their present, our past. Partly this is just the gamble you take on when you prognosticate so; much of New Romanticism's futurism hasn't bourne out in its favour. Partly this is a side-effect of influence: when others build on your innovations, they will inevitably progress beyond you. But whereas one might presume Oxygène has dated, I don't find that the case. Yes, it's evocative of a specific 70s era I never experienced, but that just adds to the charm. A 6-track, wholly electronic instrumental album by a French avant-garde composer becoming a worldwide smash? That sadly just doesn't happen anymore. Thanks, Adele! But is Oxygène actually good stripped of context? It wholly depends on how beautiful you find it. Eventually, I found it very beautiful indeed. Yes, it may take some time to appreciate this album fully, but by my third listen it had become a treat. I'm happy giving it 5 stars, but that just reflects my impression. If you consider it a bore and a chore, I won't argue to the contrary. See, we can all just get along!

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Wed Nov 24 2021
2

I kept waiting for this album to begin and then it was over. C

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Thu Jan 27 2022
1

Doctor Who backing music made by some dude in his kitchen. No thanks.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

Let's all put on clothing made of foil and zoom around on our hoverboards

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Wed Apr 21 2021
2

Definately like if i was being abducted by an alien play this please

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

One of the OGs of the style. Still incredible even all these years later.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Jarre is one of the godfathers of electronic music, and this early album is one of his best. Its best known part is certainly Oxygène 4, but one really should listen to this album as a whole, not for individual tracks. Jarre is weaving a tapestry of ever-repeating patterns and introduces gradual over time, so it never gets boring. A classic masterpiece of electronic music. 5/5

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Wed Sep 30 2020
4

Yet another seminal electronic album, this time from the 70s. Six parts, all sublime. Utterly good stuff. Favorite is Oxygene, Pt. 5.

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Sun Jun 20 2021
5

Absolutely wonderful, a rich futuristic cityscape of an album. Definitely going to revisit.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

Inject this shit directly into my veins

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

1. Don’t be a dummy like me, listen to this record at night. This is night music. 2. The French are better at electronic music than just about anyone else on the planet (with the possible exception of the Germans in the 1970’s). 3. Why the fuck don’t I own this on vinyl? Discogs, here i come.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

This was a real gem, never heard of this cat before and had no idea how big he was. Some really interesting beats and sounds.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

Really liked this surprisingly. I'm guessing pretty revolutionary for its' time? Listened with headphones so that made it a beautiful sci-fi soundscape journey.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
1

I can respect the inspiration this album had and how groundbreaking this album may have been for its time, but definitely not for me. Sounds like a killer video game soundtrack maybe? I LOVE the album art though, would make a cool tattoo.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

New space music for coding, blessed

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

The inspiration for countless infomercial and documentary soundtracks. Despite a bit too much theremin vibrato and vaguely muddy mixing, this album is simultaneously the sound of the past and the sound of the future.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

Ayo this is pretty fucking neat. Early electronic that feels like floating through space? yes please, it's solid as fuck.

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Tue Sep 19 2023
1

This almost put me to sleep like 8 times - and I was driving while I was listening to it. Maybe that's on me, but this album could have gotten me killed.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
1

This is the day that Shane MacGowan died, so i have to admit i only made it through 3 of these Oxygene tracks before needing to bail out and listen to the Pogues for the rest of the day at full volume.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Großartig! Atmosphärisch! Spacig! Spannend! Wem ist die Stelle mit dem Mass Effect Vibe aufgefallen? Gleich nochmal hören! Bzw. weiterhören mit Oxygène 2 & 3. Vor seinem Sylvesterkonzert hab ich lang nichts mehr von ihm gehört, aber ich war erfreut, dass er noch aktiv ist. Als Mitbegründer von Electronic mischt er sich heutzutage nahtlos zwischen seine Kollegen.

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Mon May 10 2021
5

pioneer of electronic music, really good listen while working. I knew of him but I'll definitely listen to more

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

Really loved this electronic album. Great vibe and great for a background while doing almost anything. A genre defining and birthing album.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Awsome ambient electro album

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Thu May 20 2021
5

I'm not sure how I have never heard this album. I also can't believe it is over 50 years old! This is an amazing electronic album that takes the listener on a journey.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Outstanding. And given when this came out, way ahead of its time!

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

genialer Synthie Elektro Pop

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

awesome album, beginning to end 10/10 based af honestly can’t decide what my favorite song is

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

I liked this album. Listened to some of his work for the rest of the day, and this was probably the best.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

It was a nice breath of fresh air (pun intended)

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Incredibly cool, it felt like I was on a musical journey. Particularly loved parts 2, 3 and 4. The section of 5 where you could hear the music going back and forth from ear to ear was rather fun as well

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

I think this album might be directly responsible for the entire sound of 80s sci-fi and some mainstream sound that's seen even today. For 1976, this shit feels way ahead of its time and it's also super enjoyable to listen to. Parts 3 and 6 are the best ones

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

Dramatic, cinematic.I remember watching his outdoor light spectacles on TV as a kid - Oxygene Part 4 brings back those memories. Rich textures, Spacemen 3 learnt from this. It’s very different to Kraftwerk, this is more like waves, more atmospheric. No words, this is music to make you wonder. Dreamy. I love it. Nice to hear an album without lyrics that still very much holds the attention.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Superb. The most beatiful electronica soundscapes put together as a classic symphony, with its different themes being repeated in variations and mixed up maintaing an exciting atmosphere throughout the whole album

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

I got Gary Numan through this project recently, and was bemoaning the lack of Vangelis on the list, so awarded him the title of "main source of synthesizer soundtracks of the future, from the past". That was shameful Jean-Michel Jarre erasure, and for that, I apologize. Oxygene is great! Exactly my jam. On the one hand, it's the scifi soundtrack to the future TV and movies have been promising me my whole life. On the other hand, it's a nostalgia machine that whisks me back to my childhood. Fave track - well, "Part IV" is the famous, nay, iconic section, but I really enjoyed the frenetic mania of "Part II" this time around. The second half of "Part V" is pretty badass, too....

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Sounds of the future in an entirely accessible format. Also worth checking out Oxygene 2 and 3 albums as well!

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

One of the finest electronic albums and a pioneer of the genre.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Really liked this, and was not familiar at all. I didn't know this level of complexity existed in electronic music in 1976. Very very cool. 5/5

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Fri May 27 2022
5

I feel like I'm playing Stellaris, and I mean that in the best way possible. This kind of music keeps my brain active but I also feel very at peace.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
5

So this is where the Blade Runner soundtrack got most of its ideas.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

Kind of Olfield, I liked electronic music at that time

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Brilliant. Great lead up, great sound, great electronic vibes

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Thu Nov 24 2022
5

It’s been 30 years since I last listened to this and it still blows me away, what an album. It was years ahead of its time when released and no one really caught up until the late 80’s by which time Jarre had moved on to other things. 5/5

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

One of my favorite albums of all time.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

jarre.. yksi projektin kohokohdista TÄSSÄ.....miksi vitussa on 3.08 mutta abbey road 4+.... part 1 ei sano paljoa...eikä tarvi...luo tunnelmaaa.. part 2 säväyttää.. ala arvioitu...melodinen miraakkeli... part 3, mitäänsanomaton..valmistaututtaa seuraavaan... part 4.... noh... mitäs siitä sanoisi... yksi parhaista biisinnypäköistä mitä on luotu..... part 5,porno. pornoa vaan... hävetti julkisella paikalla kävellä kun sellaista helisi korvissa... part 6 mid. part 4 tosiaan miellyttävin heh

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Sun Mar 05 2023
5

Though Tangerine Dream may have preceded this, and even pioneered instrumental electronic music as a viable commercial genre, their sound tends to wander more - perhaps because they are a band rather than a single person. "Oxygene" is largely a soundscape, but it is more focused, more carefully constructed, and more rhythmic. You as a listener might get lost in it, but you are being guided through a smoothly crafted sonic journey. Exquisite nighttime headphone music.

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

Holy fuck, I was legit blown away by this album. Just a supremely strong atmosphere, and I felt like it was a perfect soundtrack type of record.

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

Listening to this on my way to work, I was taken out of my car and shoved into a spaceship gone rogue, traveling distant planets and alien landscapes. Another common French electronic music W (perhaps the first, certainly one of the biggest).

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Tue May 23 2023
5

Ok, so I have gone from taking the Mickey out of Jean-Michel Jarre to being enthralled. As someone who discovered spacey synth soundscapes late in the piece this album is a revelation. The overplayed pt 2 finds new context when listening to this album on as a whole

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

I can’t believe this album is from 1977. The version I listened to says 2015, which I didn’t think twice about while listening the first time. 2015 is a re-release that sounded like a Daft Punk imitator. I hear the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in Oxygène. Reading the Wikipedia page made me realize that Tron: Legacy sounds like Oxygène not the other way round. Frankly I’m blown away how modern this sounds. It’s a timeless foundation of electronica. I completely hear the space ambiance for which Jean-Michel Jarre was going. I did not appreciate the intricacies the first time listening while driving. This is a masterpiece intended for focused, hi fidelity listening.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

"Ya see, they're MAC-Donalds, WE are McDowell's ... They have the Big Mac, we have the Big Mick" France has Jean-Michel Jarre, and we have ... McDonalds(?). This guy is like the Poor Man's Brian Eno ... and he's not even from the U.S. Why do American's not know Jean-Michel Jarre.? Spotify says that the top five consumers of this music are in Paris / London / Stantiago / Warsaw and Madrid... and he and records for the biggest concerts on earth.... 3.5 MILLION in Russia at one point. I really enjoyed this album, and was WAAAY better than the album art led me to believe it would be. Super chill and WAAY before it's time .. 1976!!. I would listen to this over and over.... Great find!

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

Highly significant. The drop in 'Oxygene, Pt. 2' at 1:41 is still one of my favorite muscial moments of all times. Pt. 3 uses a similar device of a drop/emergence. Pt. 4 is about freedom and lightness. Pt. 5, 5:23. Listen to how he pulls you out of the ship and takes you to the dizzying heights of earth consciousness and then leaves you on the shore with the waves slamming against the beach amongst the seagulls. Pt. 6 is my least favorite track, but it's still pretty damned good. This album, which came out the year I was born, was probably a no-brainer for my mother, a francophile, who had at one time in the 60's lived in Paris. I am certain it was played in the house in the early months of my life. I rediscovered it later, as a 12 or 13 year old, pawing through my mother's dusty cassettes. And I remember the moment then when I REMEMBERED having heard it as an infant and how moved I was-- moved to tears in fact. I listened to the album off and on probably until I was about 20. It is fun to drift those old constellations and dwarf stars in my mind today. Jarre has also been a near constant featured on the Hearts of Space radio program hosted by Stephen Hill weekly since 1973 (still broadcasting online) which was syndicated in about 30 cities, my hometown being one of them much to my good fortune. This is 'space music' at its finest. If you know, you know. It's going to be fun reading the reviews of folks who are hearing this for the first time.

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Fri Jun 09 2023
5

I thought I’d like this going in as I knew Part 4 from the GTA IV radio station The Journey, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Really good. I could definitely hear some elements that inspired the Stranger Things score.

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Wed Jul 12 2023
5

Ahhh memories.....remember my dad buying this in the 70's and playing it to death. I used to lie on the sofa with huge headphones listening to this on his cheap chunky Sanyo stereo. It brings back real memories and is good to listen to and relax at night with red lights and green lights flashing. It's just Perfect.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

Classic electronic music album that still sounds magnificent today, 47 years on.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

Listened a lot to Jean-Michelle Jarre in the 80s and at the time thought Equinoxe to be his best album. But got back from this 10-15 years ago when I start buying his albums on cd, and it really should be Oxygene of course.

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Fri Jul 21 2023
5

Love this album, five stars all the way!

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

Big surprise this; could easily have been a ground breaking record in the 90's 2 decades after it was released. Not usually a big fan of long electronica however it sets it's stall - sci-fi inspired dance music long trips and does it so very well. Really enjoyed this. 5

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

Spectacular. 10/10 will be replacement for Rimworld soundtrack.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

Holy shit this is freaking gorgeous. The synths are so freaking lush. I needed this in my life.

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Sun Sep 17 2023
5

Forgive me Father For I have synthed....

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Sounded like it could have been the sound track to Clockwork Orange. For electronic music made 50 years ago and still sound this good is amazing.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Jean Claude Van Jarre parts 1-6. Pew! Pew! Pew?

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

My high school French teacher introduced me to many, many French albums including Oxygene. I spent a lot of time listening to this and his other albums through high school and college. After college I’d find myself regularly hearing tracks from this when I had a job running the board for a New Age radio show in the early 90s. I was always excited when one of these tracks came up even though the album is best taken in its entirety. Oxygene is my gateway to a lifelong love of electronic music. This is one journey that I never tire of making.

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Always happy to listen to this classic. We're having a very good week!

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

I suppose that I have listened to this album in its entirety at least once in my lifetime previous to this, but I don't specifically recall. It is quite excellent.

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Although I quite enjoyed this the first time through, it was on my second listen that I really realized how incredible and beautiful this album is. Obviously (yes, obviously) Part IV has always been an absolute favorite, but the rest is quite wonderful when one is able to listen and appreciate all that is here.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

It's one of the best albums in the history of all music, not only electronic music. It defines the upcoming years or even decades. Fight me if you disagree. I only hope to get this kind of albums on this list.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

This was so cool. God I love synth. Do I give this 5 stars? Maybe? Pt. V was my favourite

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

Rating this based purely on how much I enjoyed listening to it, solid 5 for me. First one minute of this album and I already felt transported to a dreamy magical place. For me it felt mysterious and cool and beautiful and emotional … at times creepy? But I loved it. Can’t believe this is from the 70s, feels way ahead of its time. This really vibed with my soul. Also, would make great inspiration for a Sci-fi/new life emerging on another planet/futuristic novel of some kind.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Jarre is the king of synthesizers. The entire album is an instrumental, electronic, ethereal experience and very reminiscent of 1970s documentaries such as the old Sagan's Cosmos. It is mandatory to use headphones when listening to this album, as Jarre makes significant use of moving sounds between the left and right speakers. There are neoclassical undertones to this work, with many parts sounding as if they could be an orchestral arrangement instead. This work might sound a little dated to the 21st century ear as electronic music as evolved considerably since 1976. Regardless, this is a classic work. As the song titles suggest, you should listen to the whole thing in one go. The songs don't necessarilly stand by themselves. I like spacey contemplative electronic music, and this work holds up to the best of them.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Un album de feu sérieusement. Ambiance électronique , synthé, il y a tout la dedans et ca frappe fort. 5

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Loved this. Could hear how it influenced so many artists in subsequent decades

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Fri Dec 15 2023
5

A spiritual and ambientic journey through space and time. Part 4 is the pinnacle, but you must experience Parts 1-3 to get there. Parts 5-6 hold the energy and brings you back home. Giving a 5 for an essential listen, at least once, preferably late at night.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

I fucking love aliens, I truly find them remarkable and fascinating. I love the thought of being on a beautiful alien planet surrounded by alien landscape and forests. this album is like the soundtrack of those alien worlds. Sign me up please!! I never really cared for electronica but maybe I’ve been missing out holy shit, this is transcending. god aliens are so cool.

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Sun Jan 14 2024
5

Music was mesmerizing! I loved it!

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